MotoGP: Valentino Rossi hails Yamaha improvement

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Valentino Rossi has praised Yamaha for the drastic improvements made to the factory YZR-M1 after the Italian headed an all-Yamaha podium in Le Mans last weekend for the first time since 2001.

Rossi beat Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards in the French MotoGP in a result that Japanese bosses could have only dreamt of last season.

Yamaha endured a nightmare in 2007 and problems with the slow and unreliable first Yamaha YZR-M1 800c machine saw Italian Rossi even issue quit threats unless he saw big improvements in 2008.

Yamaha has now won three of the opening five races and claimed four pole positions and one of the key improvements is the Yamaha YZR-M1 is now a bike that many riders can race at a competitive pace on.

Rossi told MCN: “I was quite frustrated at the end of last year and I spoke with (Masao) Furusawa, I was in bad situation.

“First I wanted to finish my career with Yamaha but at the same time I wanted a bike to win the championship. So I said ‘please, can you build a bike to win the championship?’ And they made a great effort.

“Last year the difference to Ducati was stop speed and power and the Japanese were back a little. The development was not good.

“This year everyone works better and we have a better plan of evolution and development. Yamaha made a great step so this is fantastic.”


Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt